I'm located in Tucson, AZ. Here our soil is a very hard, near concrete substance called Caliche. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliche) .. To give you an idea of how hard it is, it took about 2 hours with a breaking bar to put my mailbox in. My question is this: Would I still need to dig as deep and mix in gravel to do a Proper driveway with pavers, even with this incredibly hard soil?
Oh, attached is what I envisioned as the brick pattern, albeit a bit wider (10ft x 32ft driveway)
I do a 1" sand bed with no gravel bed, take your time getting the grade right. Being in the desert you don't want the caliche to have moisture unlike clay this is what I have found out. I have done quit a few driveways, walkways, and patios with 1" sand in the desert and no call backs. Make sure you get the grade right along with a good edge row.
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Thanks! Glad to find someone with experience in the desert. Would you recommend a plate vibrator, or a simple, manual hand tamper? Are results much better with the automated approach?
One thing I notice is that some folks will tamp the 1" of sand after its leveled, relevelling, retamping, etc.. While others seem to level it out, lay the bricks, then plate vibrate the whole thing. I can see the rationale of not tamping the sand too much as vibrating it afterwards will inset the bricks into the sand better? This is an area where I'm seeing a bit of conflicting methodologies.